Monday, February 18, 2008

changing environments

One way of creating context for global health is that of changing environments - environments being defined broadly as political, physical, social, economic etc.

What are some of the 'environmental' changes that you've seen in Rwanda recently and how do you see those as affecting health there?


Alex Foster said...

For Oregon folks, discuss the same - what are some 'environmental' changes that you've perceived per global health in Oregon and how might those impact global health?

brice said...

Fist of all I would like to start by thanking Alex for his great idea of creating this blog.
In order for all of us to have a clearer idea, I thought that it might be helpful to start by making a brief presentation of Rwanda:
Rwanda is an East African country with an area of 26,338 square kilometers, a total population of 8, 2 millions and a Per Capita GNP of 250US $. It shares borders with four other countries which are: Uganda in the North, Burundi in the South, Tanzania in the East and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West.
As for health indicators:
Health care delivery and Medical Personnel:
• Doctors: 1/50,000 inhabitants
• Nurses: 1/3,900 inhabitants
• 17% of Nurses in rural areas
• Access to Health care facilities : 37.9%
• Life expectancy at birth 52.73 years

Infant and Maternal Mortality:
• Infant mortality: 86/1000
• Under 5 Mortality: 152/1000
• Under 5 years severe malnutrition: 19.4%
• Maternal mortality: 750/ 100,000
• Assisted deliveries: 48.6%

HIV/AIDS and other epidemics:
• HIV prevalence: 3%
• TB (2003): 6,046 cases in the country
• Malaria admission cases in hospitals 36.8%

For more information:

Concerning medical education, there is one Faculty of Medicine/School of Medicine within the National University of Rwanda ( ). 65 to 100 students are admitted every year; our medical education covers 6 years, the final year being entirely devoted to clinical rotations. Other medical personnel are trained at Kigali Health Institute:

Doran said...

Thanks, Brice.

I'm going to suggest that we all mention where we're from, as it may not be obvious otherwise.

I'm a student at OHSU with Alex, and look forward to communicating with Rwandan medical students.

En plus, j'aimerais bien communiquer en francais, si necessaire, pour faciliter le dialogue avec les etudiants Rwandais.

Bienvenue a tous!

Kanyamahanga said...

I am Herman from Rwanda, 26, male and 5th year medical student, and hope I will bring some useful infos on this blog and thank to Alex for this blog.
I think it will be great if there would be a kind of form for every participant to fill in, and introduce himself to the other bloggers...

So far, I will come back later with advices and idea about the topic.


Alexis said...

My name is Alex, I`m a student from NUR, male 25and 5th year student of medicine.
Merci beaucoup a Alex pour ce forum et merci a Brice aussi pour les commentaires.
Un autre merci a Doran pour bien vouloir introduire le francais dans notre communication.
J`espere que tout le monde se sentira a l`aise de communiquer dans la langue qui lui est facile.
So far thanks,
and see you later.

Erin said...

I was running this morning and thinking about how Oregon's environment almost makes it easy to be healthy.
The physical environment: With a temperate climate year-round, it is easy to hike, bike, walk or otherwise exercise and keep healthy.
The built environment: Infrastructure allows for convenient public transportation or biking. I never biked before I moved here, and now I try not to drive more than once a week.
The nutritional environment: Oregon has lush farming and lots of local markets for fruits and vegetables, enabling us to eat well and cheaply, instead of having to rely on McDonald's.
Air quality: This part might actually answer Alex's original question. Portland made a commitment to improve air quality, and I think that could have a major impact on global health, especially if other cities follow the same path.
In comparison to Texas or Chicago or other places I've lived, I think the environment in Portland, Oregon is the most beneficial in terms of health that I've ever experienced. It shows what a difference good city planning and prioritizing the environment can have for health.